Briefing from ROAPE Volume 21 Number 59
1993 Lesotho Election
The first free general elections to be held in Lesotho since independence in 1966 took place on 27 March 1993. The result was an astounding clean sweep of all 65 parliamentary seats by the opposition Basutoland Congress Party (BCP), and a subsequent handing over of power by the military regime, latterly led by Colonel Elias Ramaema, to a civilian government headed by long-time BCP leader Ntsu Mokhehle. The scale of its defeat not only plunged the formerly ruling Basotho National Party (BNP) into crisis, but posed awkward questions concerning the wisdom of the retention of the first-past-the-post electoral system, and the suitability of the revamped, Westminster-style independence constitution, for relaunching democracy following a long period of authoritarian rule.